With Bottom Feeders we take a look at the songs on the Billboard Hot 100 that only got a little love. It’s an A-Z look at songs that charted no higher than #41 in the decade. Take a listen, enjoy and comment. And don’t forget, information on the top 40, airplay and bubbling under charts are on pages 2-3.
Section 1: The Ass End
I don’t know that I ever really understood the draw of WC and why Ice Cube seemed to like him. To me, he’s just a generic rapper that fell in with the right crowd. “West Up!” was WC and the Madd Circle – his first group, which at one point had Coolio in it. Then he went solo but also made a record with Cube and Mack 10 as the Westside Connection. And don’t mispronounced his name either, – it Dub-C to the gangstas.
“Undone – The Sweater Song” 1994, #57 (16 weeks) (download)
I always love conversations around Weezer. They have always been one of the most polarizing groups in pop-rock music. There’s the camp that thinks they are pretentious assholes. There’s the group that will unapologetically defend every single thing Rivers Cuomo and gang put out. And then there’s what’s probably the most common group – the ones that love the Blue Album and Pinkerton and everything else is just shit.
I’m in a middle ground group somewhere in that I love both of the first two records and quite a bit of the rest of their catalog. I’m not a huge fan by any stretch but I like the Red Album more than any man should. I don’t mind when they do a song with Lil’ Wayne, nor when they put out an album with the title Death to False Metal though they likely have no idea what that really is. They’ve had more misses than hits in recent years but the hits really can be spectacular.
Wet Wet Wet
“Love Is All Around” 1994, #41 (20 weeks) (download)
I had no idea Wet Wet Wet did this track from Four Weddings and a Funeral. They had their one song “Wishing I Was Lucky” back in the original ‘80s version of Bottom Feeders but I had no idea they did anything else.
“Livin’ in the Light” 1990, #53 (10 weeks) (download)
Caron Wheeler should have had more hits than just this lone solo track. She had a great voice that was featured in both “Back to Life” and “Keep On Movin’” by Soul II Soul as well as a background singer for Elvis Costello, Howard Jones and Erasure among other artists. And, she wrote most of her own tunes. She had a real knack for catchy dance-pop tunes and “Livin’ in the Light” was one of her best but her entire first album – UK Blak, is pretty great.
“Innocent” 1990, #55 (11 weeks) (download)
I have to admit that I was always impressed by the change these old dudes made in the ‘80s and early ‘90s. I mean, they started off like most other ‘70s R&B groups, making ‘70s soul into the first few years of the next decade but they did what most others didn’t – they changed with the times. In 1987 they released “Rock Steady” which was their biggest hit and fit right in with the current pop charts and then “Innocent” in 1990 which was a little Bobby Brown, a little Jody Watley and totally relevant.
“Come On” 1995, #87 (2 weeks) (download)
What’s there to say about Barry White, really? You wanna make babies, you put on Barry. It’s really that simple.
The former wife of Terry Lewis fit right in in the last few years of the ‘80s and early ‘90s with any number of R&B/Dance artists, like Jody Watley. She had the beats and the voice, though the ‘90s didn’t treat her as well as the previous decade did. The Terry Lewis connection is obvious in “Hungah” which sounds very much like Janet Jackson’s “That’s the Way Love Goes.”
“Stepping Stone” 1998, #73 (12 weeks) (download)
I’ve never heard of Lari White nor any of her songs before right now. Decent song though – I can certainly understand why it crossed over to the pop charts.
“Your Love Is A…” 1994, #76 (10 weeks) (download)
Yes, the Whitehead Bros, were the children of John Whitehead of McFadden & Whitehead fame. As called on their album, “Your Love Is A 187” was a mixtape sex jam for sure.
“Now You’re Gone” 1990, #96 (2 weeks) (download)
“Now You’re Gone” was the final single from Slip of the Tongue which would be the last Whitesnake record until David Coverdale tried a comeback in 1997. Almost all the songs on that record were written by Adrian Vandenberg to be played in a bluesy style but when he hurt his wrist and couldn’t play, Steve Vai stepped in with his rock guitar and played on the record. Vandenberg has went on the record saying he doesn’t think much of the record because of that, when it reality there’s just not much to like about it at all.
I knew about Wild Orchid back in the ‘90s but of course learned even more once Stacy Ferguson became Fergie and joined the Black Eyed Peas. Just like she does with them, she over-sings everything here, leading me to wonder how the hell she became so damn huge.
The Wilkinson’s were interesting only because of who was in the group – dad Steve made the music, 16-year-old daughter Amanda was the lead singer and 14-year-old son Tyler – well, shit – I think he was just along for the ride because dad didn’t want to leave him alone in the house.